Sunday, May 12, 2019

City Council, May 13th - Minor Updates on OSH North Campus and UGM Shelter

Council meets on Monday, and this week it's the formal "information items," rather than action items that are of greatest interest. Status reports on the North Campus of the State Hospital and on the new UGM Shelter lead the way.

Proposed path system at the North Campus
They're just lines on a map
At the North Campus of the State Hospital, the Planning Commission approved the first development. It will have single-family lots on Park and D, but no driveways on Park or D, and the interior streets with cul-de-sacs will function as an alley. The multi-family portion will just have a parking lot system, and the provision for "pedestrian connections" looks problematic. Once it is built out, we will mourn the fact that the grid breaks down and there will not be a full set of interior streets. There will be lines on the map to "connect" Center and D Streets, Park and 25th, but these will not be very effective, and will be a set of Potemkin connections instead. If you are walking in the neighborhood, you probably won't feel "invited" onto the path. Instead, you will skirt the development and keep on Park, 25rd, and D. Streets signal "public space" in a way the path system does not, and the paths will look private, even though there will be public access easements.

North Campus: These amended conditions look hinky
The total effect will be for a compound, and the project does not appear headed to a vibrant outcome.  It's dull.

UGM will retain the green cottage, but demolish the other two
(via Streetview)
The Planning Administrator approved some changes to the UGM Shelter project on Division and Commercial. Two lots that had been excluded, with a century old cottage and a boxy storefront, will now be purchased by the UGM, and they needed to be folded into the site plan. Plans indicate the cottage will be saved, but the storefront demolished. The way the project greets Division Street looks nice and human and reasonable. Hopefully the businesses will be able to move and will not be adversely impacted. (Update: It's been appealed. Update 2: CANDO reports the appeal has been withdrawn.)

Division has charm from another era here
This will be demolished (2014)

The disposition of the three buildings on Division
Note also the bike parking, plaza, and courtyard.
An upgrade to the bike parking requirements is buried in the code amendments Council looks to adopt. At the first reading, we mentioned it was ok, but not great. Salem Bike Boulevard Advocates picked up on the problem of the "lift," and approached it from an ADA perspective rather than an "encouragement" or convenience angle (see also FB post here). If we want mobility for everyone, making people lift bikes or mobility devices over curbs and walls or up to wall racks is not fair. So far, however, no one has commented on or analyzed the reductions to school bike parking requirements. Maybe they're innocuous or warranted, but that's an interesting silence.

Other items:
Addendum for Susann

See the comments below for conversation about 715 N. Commercial.

1926 Sanborn Fire map and circa 1880s Salem photo
(photo from Oregon Historical Society)


Susann Kaltwasser said...

I know no one cares, but I discovered while doing a search on that my great uncle George Chamberlain lived in a house at 715 N Commercial (which is now where the blue building is located with a Division St address). He lived there from about 1932 to some time in the 1950s. I can't find a picture anywhere of what the house looked like, but interesting to see my roots go back so deep in Salem.

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

The 1926 Sanborn map shows a triplex on the corner there: 715, 717, and 719 North Commercial Street. There were a few other "missing middle" type small apartments on the block, as well as many other small single-family cottages.

That's a nice connection you are be able to make!

A late add to the Council agenda is notice of an appeal on the UGM approvals, and there may be more to say as that matures. One of the contested elements is that the main entry (with that courtyard) would be on Division Street, and the neighbor across the street is not a fan.

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Oh wait, you know, there might be a photo of the triplex at 715 N. Commercial - not a very good one, but something.

Recently I ran across a better version of a photo that was used to illustrate the archeology project at the new Police Station. This is a scan from the Oregon Historical Society, and depending on when that house was built, it might show it.

I'll post a composite as an addendum in the body.

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

(Here's the bad version of the photo in the Library's collection.)

Susann Kaltwasser said...

Amazing how you find this stuff! Thank you for finding a picture of the house. Your conclusion makes sense because according to the 1930 census there were 3 families at that address, so it makes sense that it was a triplex. Looks like the repair business was probably but much later.

I just connected with one of my great uncle's great granddaughters on Ancestry so I am going to see if she knows anything or has pictures. I just love history...and if you can trace family members to it, it is even better. Thank you again for caring!

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

(There was going to be a further round of appeal on the UGM shelter, and a couple of days ago CANDO reported that the appeal was withdrawn.)